To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Once Upon a Watershed

Once Upon a Watershed Environmental Education Program

The Once Upon a Watershed (OUW) education program works with local students in the Ventura River watershed to awaken wonder, discovery and connection with the natural world. Through hands-on watershed education, restoration, and stewardship experiences they cultivate a sense of shared responsibility for our whole earth system, instilling confidence and hope by empowering young people to make a real difference in their own watershed.

Over 1,000 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from public and private schools in the Ventura River watershed participate in this program each year. Using the OVLC’s Ojai Meadows and Steelhead Preserves, as well as the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy’s properties on the lower Ventura River and the Ventura River Estuary, students investigate their environment using watershed curriculum linked to the California Science Standards and participate in conservation projects which will benefit their communities.

Through collaborations with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, Oak Grove School, California Conservation Corps, Friends of the Ventura River, Patagonia, and the Surfrider Foundation they are bringing dynamic and joyful discovery based learning to more and more children in our community. Nature based learning ignites enthusiasm in the learning process and makes for healthier, happier and smarter kids.

To learn more about the Once upon a Watershed program or to arrange a field trip please visit their web page, or email them at